Vizsladogs, Ltd.

Poppy's Spider Experience

This is a story I want to share with you about my Vizsla. First of all I would like to acknowledge several people for their love, support and caring about Poppy. Whites Animal Hospital, Santa Barbara Ca and all the employees, Dr. Posh, Dr. Dawson, Dr. McFarlin, Dr. Y (Adobe Hospital, Oxnard CA), Bea Pudlow, Trainer Animal Inn Santa Barbara, Laure Richards, friend and dog sitter, Julia, tag maker and Auntie Dana Shorr, Daddy Dana, Nancy Gutfriend, Therapist

On May 1st 2001 Poppy was sick with 104-degree temperature. She was immediately taken to the vet. Dr. Posh suggested we get ahead of whatever is going on and take a blood test. The next day her blood test showed an infection of some sort, Dr. Posh was very concerned because we didn't know where, why, how or when was the result of this infection. We treated her with antibiotics and all seemed to be ok, we were still concerned.

One week later she started limping, eating grass, no signs of why, the only thing we knew was she hurt in her toe and elbow, no fever. We did not know if the prior week was related to this problem. We took x-rays immediately, no sign of trauma, and no fever. By the end of the week her arm had swelled, she had a fever of 106 degrees, not eating and in pain (with antibiotics). Poppy was placed in the hospital over night and given fluids and antibiotics (Saturday). By Monday (still with 103 fever) we could see a small abscess, until then there was no sign of where or what this could be. On Tuesday we drained abscess from her upper arm and paw. She continued to have fever and we administered antibiotics. Fever subsided, infection persisted. Her paw started to deteriorate tissue of pads #1,2, &3. Every day the vets soaked her paw 3 times. We took cultures and finally a biopsy of the tissues. Nothing resulted, except the biopsy showed a constriction of the blood vessels.

Researching bites on the web, experience of the Vets, and with the collaboration of two other opinions we concluded this could be a Brown Recluse spider bite.

Poppy is very active in hunting and has a yard that is accessible to this activity of where these spiders can live in California. The infection, deterioration of the tissue and the biopsy showing the blood vessels constricted determined this was a brown recluse spider bite. The third digit ended up being exposed to the bone. Once the infection was under control we prepared Poppy for surgery. She has lost part of her third digit and all three pads.

This week, two months later, is Poppy's first week with all fours "almost" on the ground. She loves Dr. Poshie. Her muscles have deteriorated and we have to do rehabilitation, however, with a two-year-old "very active" vizsla I'm confident she will be back to her "fit" self.

Thank you to all who love Poppy and saved her life.

If anyone has had an experience such as this I would be interested in hearing about it, pleases e-mail me at


Cheryle and Poppy (Dr. Poshie's favorite)

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